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                               News & Views Monday 15th September to Sunday 21st September 2014

Juliet Osarenwinda - Won't be Flying Tonight (17/09/14)

Removal Stayed - Campaign Fights On


Fantastic News: Because of the action of all of you took, emailing, tweeting, sharing and calling; Juliet's flight with British Airways today has been deferred - your actions made a huge difference!

Join us at a bail hearing for Juliet

Thursday 18th September 10:00 am

Asylum & Immigration Tribunal
1 Wagon Lane
Birmingham B26 3DU

We want the full force of support for Juliet to be felt in that courtroom, to make it clear how important she is to her community and to the movement, that she must be released from Yarl's Wood this week!

Movement for Justice <karen@movementforjustice-org.ccsend.com>


Juliet Osarenwinda Must Stay! 

Victim of trafficking and forced marriage faces deportation

Juliet has been given 'removal directions' for this Wednesday, 17th September, on British Airways' flight BA083, from Heathrow Terminal 5 , leaving 22.20hrs (10.40pm) for Ajuba, Nigeria.

- Please take action now!

End the racist system of dealing with trafficking victims in the UK

Protection & Justice Not Cover-up & Deportation

Take the Home Office out of the process!

Tell British Airways they must not fly Juliet Osarenwinda to a life of abuse and rape

Demand the Home Office reverses its refusal to recognise Juliet as a victim of trafficking

Juliet Osarenwinda is a member of Movement for Justice, an asylum seeker from Nigeria and a victim of trafficking. She has been a key organiser on each of the Surround Harmondsworth demonstrations, each time bringing more and more women with her.  At Surround Harmondsworth #3 on Saturday 9th August she organised a group of over 20 women to come down to London from Birmingham. She is a fighter for justice, determined to inspire and teach other women how to fight for themselves. It is what she said when she spoke on 9th August:

"I want everyone to have that zeal, the power to move and fight" Juliet described detention in words that struck a chord with everyone who has been through this inhuman system: "I was detained for three weeks, but it was like a thousand years"

Two days later when she went for her regular appointment at the Home Office reporting centre in Birmingham she was sent back into detention - in Yarl's Wood - for the third time. Now she is threatened with deportation to Nigeria on Wednesday, 17th September on British Airways flight BA083.

Juliet sought safety in the UK, to rebuild her life away from abuse & forced marriage and have a future like every young woman wants. In Nigeria she was forced to promise marriage to an older man who had lent her father money that he could not repay. For months she was subjected to repeated rape and beatings. She claimed asylum as soon as she escaped to the UK, but was immediately detained and within weeks her asylum claim was refused and certified as 'clearly unfounded' with no right of appeal in the UK.

She managed to get out of detention but - vulnerable and alone, and terrified of being sent back to Nigeria - she ended up in the hands of a trafficker. She was forced to do brothel work, moved from place to place, threatened with being sent back to Nigeria if she refused, beaten if she protested. She only 'escaped' when the brothel was raided by police - she was handed over to the Home Office because of her immigration status and detained in Yarl's Wood again.

Victims of trafficking from outside the EU are dealt with by the Home Office (EU/EEA citizens are dealt with by the UKHTC), a racist policy that means non-EU citizens are far less likely to be recognised as victims of trafficking than those from EU countries.  The Home Office gets to decide if someone is a victim of trafficking or not and once that decision is made there is no right of appeal!

Juliet was trraumatised by her experience, but the Home Office used the most trifling discrepancies in her account as grounds for refusing to recognise that she was as a victim of trafficking. Months later when Juliet had been released from detention, she felt able to go to the police and report what had happened to her, but they dropped the investigation when the Home Office who told them she was not a trafficking victim!

The policy of the Home Office making trafficking decisions means in practice that the traffickers, the perpetrators, get away time and time again whilst the victim is treated as a liar, a criminal and deported.

Take Action Now!

1. Contact British Airways - Customer relations Phone: 0844 493 0787 option 3, followed by option 2

BA Web Contact form <> here . . . .

Ask them not to fly Juliet Osarenwinda on flight BA083 this Wednesday (17th September) at 10.20 pm or any other flight.

Email Mr Keith Williams (Executive chairman of British Airways) keith.x.williams@ba.com

TWEET @British_Airways and Tweet again and again.

What you can say to British Airways....

The deportation of Juliet Osarenwinda on flight BA083 on Wednesday 17th September at 22.20hrs is a forced deportation and an abuse of human rights.  Juliet Osarenwinda has been an important figure in the fight to expose abuse in the UK immigration system, as a victim of forced marriage and trafficking her life is in danger if she were returned to Nigeria.

You are responsible for actions and transactions that you permit on your property, within your own vehicles.  In enquiries that have been made to the UK Home Office, they have been very clear on this point: you are not obliged to take this passenger - you do so, they stress, voluntarily and without any pressure from the UK government - and in so doing you accept the normal moral and legal responsibility for the outcomes of your own commercial decisions

Already many airlines have refused to fly passengers who are not being removed voluntarily. You will be familiar with the very serious concerns raised about the private contractors hired by the Home Office to 'escort' deportees. Your airline has a duty of care to your passengers. The Home Office has confirmed that you have the right to refuse to fly someone if you have serious concerns about their safety. You also have a responsibility to your other passengers for their safety, Ms Osarenwinda will not be going voluntarily, she is extremely distressed and frightened by this deportation and fears for her life, she will not be silent, she will try everything to get off that plane. You are well aware of the high profile deaths of detainees caused by the restraint used by 'escorts' in forced deportation, do you really want British Airways reputation tarnished as the airline who allows restraints & beatings to take place on its flights?

Please cancel Ms Osarenwinda's ticket with haste.

2. Contact the British Airline Pilot's Association, ask that they advise their members to not support this abuse of human rights, use the arguments above and the same arguments as with Unite (below)

Telephone: 020 8476 4000
Fax: 020 8476 4077
Email: balpa@balpa.org

3. JOIN US at Heathrow Terminal 5 at 7pm, Wednesday 17th September. Demand BA don't fly an innocent person to imminent danger and let the other passengers know about Juliet so that they can protest.

4. Sign and share Juliet's petition

5. Email and Call Unite the Union's Heathrow Team

Contact Unite The Union And Ask That They Advise Workers Not To Co-Operate With Juliet Oarenwinda's Removal (or any forced removal)... (what you can say)

Given that people have been killed and seriously injured in transit while being deported, Unite should surely be advising its members not to participate in such actions, and offering them support if they are pressured to do so by their employers. You should not have to turn a blind eye to violence and abuse going on in your own workplace, wherever you work, as a condition of employment, nor should their members have to take part in actions that violate human rights.

Phone 020 8800 4281: Email the Regional Secretary Peter Kavanagh on peter.kavanagh@unitetheunion.org

6. Email the Home Secretary: Tell her that Juliet is a clear example of a woman who has been subjected to rape and abuse who should never have been detained. Tell them that the government talks about protecting women and children yet detain women who need protection. Tell them Juliet's story (above) and tell them that if she is deported it makes a mockery of the governments stated commitment to end abuse of women, forced marriage and human trafficking. Tell them that it is outrageous that the Home Office gets to decide who is a victim of trafficking and they should be stripped of this power if there is to be any justice for victims of trafficking. Demand that Juliet's case as a victim of trafficking is reconsidered and that she be given the protection she needs


Email/Faxing Theresa May, Home Secretary  - please quote, Juliet Osarenwinda due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Wednesday, 17th September, on British Airways' flight BA083, from Heathrow Terminal 5 , leaving 22.20hrs (10.40pm) for Ajuba, Nigeria. Ask her to exercise her discretionary powers to stay the removal and release Juliet and to grant her protection in the UK .

Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745

Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
pscorrespondence@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk
CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Please let the campaign know of any actions taken?
Movement for Justice
<karen@movementforjustice-org.ccsend.com>


 

A Crisis of Harm in Immigration Detention
The question of whether detention causes mental disorders goes to the heart of the Home Office's approach to the question of vulnerability in detention. The Home Office policy starts from the principle of identifying certain vulnerable groups who should not be detained, other than in exceptional circumstances. These include people with serious mental or physical health conditions, survivors of torture, elderly or disabled people, pregnant women and trafficking victims.

Research by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has concluded that a category-based approach to assessing vulnerability is fundamentally flawed, as detention can make anyone potentially vulnerable. Being suddenly locked up, cut off from friends, family and a whole life, can have unpredictable and serious effects on anyone. According to JRS, vulnerability in detention is a complex and dynamic interaction of personal, social and environmental factors, and needs to be assessed individually and holistically.
Read more: Jerome Phelps, Open Democracy, <> 15/09/14


Call For Transparency and Accuracy of Information to Families

On 5th September 2014, Rubel Ahmed, a 26 year old immigration detainee from Bangladesh was pronounced dead at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre. Mr Ahmed was detained at Morton Hall IRC for approximately two months.

There was a significant delay in Mr Ahmed's family being informed of his death. His family report that they were given very little information from officials and that they were initially referred to the press office. The family had to make numerous enquiries before they were put in contact with a Family Liaison Officer from the Home Office to confirm Mr AhmedÕs death. The family were reliant on reports from other detainees at Morton Hall IRC and were informed that Mr Ahmed was calling for medical assistance prior to his death. Mr AhmedÕs family are still uncertain about the cause of his death.

Mr Ahmed's Family have issued the following statement: ÒWe the family are shocked and distressed by the way the detention centre treated us immediately after the death. They refused to tell us whether Rubel had died after we received information from other detainees. We were simply given the telephone number for a press office which was not being answered on the weekend. They were unsympathetic and unhelpful despite desperate pleas for any information.

Investigations have begun and the family call upon investigators to carry out a full, fearless and thorough investigation. We are concerned that all detainees who are witnesses should be contacted to provide their accounts. We have grave concerns that Rubel's desperate cries for medical assistance were not answered and that he was deprived of basic human rights to receive care when he clearly needed it. We call upon the investigators to fully explore events and get to the truth."


Deborah Coles, INQUEST Co-Director said: "The grief of this family has been compounded by the insensitive way in which they were treated after his death and the lack of timely and accurate information in direct contravention of the Family Liaison Principles. It is vital for both the family and wider public interest that this death is subjected to thorough scrutiny and that those in detention can effectively participate.

The plight of those held in immigration detention and the systemic neglect of detaineesÕ mental and physical ill health is evidenced by the high numbers of deaths, suicide attempts and self harm."


Mr Ahmed's family have asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time and that they will not be providing any further statements or interviews at this stage of the investigation process.

INQUEST is working with the family of Mr Ahmed and his lawyer, ILG member Nogah Ofer of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and the families of another 8 detainees who have died in IRC and prisons holding immigration detainees.

From: "Communications at INQUEST" <communications@inquest.org.uk>


UK Treatment of LGBT Asylum Seekers 'Brutal and Inhumane'
The co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie, says successive governments at Westminster have failed to protect the rights of LGBT asylum seekers. Mr Harvie, MSP for Glasgow, made the remarks in response to a questionnaire submitted to ScotlandÕs six main political leaders by the Equality Network. The Green Party in Scotland supports Scottish independence and Mr Harvie argues a Yes vote on 18 September could allow Scotland to create its own fairer asylum system.
Read more: Pink News, </>11/09/14


10  Longest Recorded Lengths Of Detention @ 30th June 2014

1,609 days - 4.4 years 1,259 days - 3.4 years
1,245  days - 3.4 years 1,042  days - 2.8 years
1,026 days - 2.8 years 999  days - 2.7 years
993 days - 2.7 years 922  days - 2.5 years
891 days - 2.4 years 874 days - 2.3 years

     
     
     
Last updated 17 September, 2014